Apple Introduces iOS 17.5 with Cross-Platform Tracking, Repair State, and More

Apple Introduces iOS 17.5 with Cross-Platform Tracking, Repair State, and More
In Short
  • Apple is rolling out the iOS 17.5 update on iPhones, with focus on enhanced tracking features and improved repairability.
  • It comes with a new Cross-Platform Tracking Detection feature that identifies unknown Bluetooth trackers, beyond AirTags, and helps you disable them.
  • Other additions include a Repair State mode on Find My, a Quartiles word game inside the News+ app, and new Pride wallpapers.

Apple has started rolling out the iOS 17.5 update to iPhones. The update brings major changes to tracking an iPhone with support for third-party trackers and a new way to keep your device trackable when being repaired, among other changes. Here’s everything you need to know.

Cross-Platform Tracking Detection

The biggest change coming to iPhones this time around is the Cross-Platform Tracking Detection. It’s a new anti-tracking feature that allows your iPhone to identify third-party trackers (beyond AirTags) around you and disable them. For this, Apple has partnered with Google to create a new system called Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers (DULT). This will make sure you get an alert when an unknown tracker (not yours) is nearby, regardless of the phone’s operating system.

Apple iOS 17.5

Like unidentified AirTags, your iPhone can now alert you with an “Item Found Moving With You” notification when it detects any Bluetooth trackers around your vicinity. Similarly, users on devices running Android 6.0 or later will see the “Tracker traveling with you” alert when a device detects an unknown tracker (including an AirTag).

You can then view a tracker’s identifier, make it ring to locate where it’s hidden, and then get instructions to disable it. Apple claims that manufacturers like Chipolo, Eufy, Jio, Motorola, and Pebblebee have already pledged that their future trackers will support this new safety standard.

Repair State Mode

iOS 17.5 also adds a Repair State mode inside the Find My app. This feature allows your iPhone to remain active on Apple’s Find My network with its Activation Lock turned on. Prior to this, whenever you had to send your device for repair, you had to disable Find My and Activation Lock on your iPhone before the repair process began.

iOS 17.5 Repair State mode

With Repair State mode, you will be able to use the “Remove This Device” option that prompts you to prepare your iPhone for repair. When you enable this mode, your iPhone will remain trackable on the Find My network.

Other iOS 17.5 Changes

Adding to the changes in iOS 17.4, the latest update also allows developers in the EU to offer their apps directly on their websites. This means, users can download apps without going to the App Store. But there’s a catch. Only developers with a proven track record (being a developer for 2+ years and having over 1 million app installs in the last year) can offer web downloads.

Apple has also added minor improvements to the Apple News+ and Podcasts apps. The News+ now offers a new built-in Quartiles word game and an offline mode to access your feed. Podcasts gets new iOS widgets for the Home Screen and Lock Screen with dynamic background support. Speaking of the Home Screen, there’s now a set of new Pride wallpapers, all featuring different strings of colors to spell out ‘pride’.

What do you think about the iOS 17.5 update? Will you update your iPhone to the latest version right away? Let us know in the comments below.

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